One day I noticed that although my jeep looked good from afar, up close it was covered in sticky muck, and layers of dirt had settled in upon that. Yuck! When had it gotten so filthy? I just love my jeep, but I don’t have the cool kind that looks even better with an inch of mud splatter on it. Even the neighborhood kitty had stopped leaving his signature paw-print trail in the dust. Time to go to the car wash.
Luckily, I have a car wash that is freaking awesome, so I set out mentally singing, or maybe not just mentally-more like belting out-my car wash song. Which just so happens to be that groovy 70’s hit cleverly named Car Wash. (I’m deep like that.)
No line at the old Speedy Bee-Bonus! I decided to go all out with the $12 wash. Next is the tough part. The coveralled attendant gives hand motion signals like he’s landing a plane-and all I have to do is get my tire in the track. Not as easy as it seems. The red/yellow/green light-up board takes it from there. The problem is, the ground traffic controller doesn’t even make eye contact. He is on auto-pilot, so I have to navigate carefully so as not to hit him, all the while hanging my head out the window like a shaggy dog…because it’s tricky and I’m not always the best driver. Finally green-lighted and Jeep in neutral, I’m on my way. It’s dark as a tomb. As the colorful neon magic soap squirts all over my window I can’t see a thing. That always gives me a little silly feeling in my stomach, partly because I’m claustrophobic, and partly because I’m not the one in control of the car. And I am all about control.
As the car moves forward I’m able peek through some of the foam, but not well enough to see what’s coming next. Floppy mop things flap against my car, and a steady cascade of water trickles down.
Rub a dub-dub. I still can’t see the end of the line.
Next, a monsoon of water comes pouring down, now I’m apparently in the rinse cycle. Slippy slippy slidey. Then some sort of waxing agent causes the water to bead up all over the surface. Then a final rinse, and high powered blowdryers buffet the car.
The water droplets disburse off the window and I am now able to see directly ahead of me. Like a porthole. Ahhh-let there be light! Chug, chug. A bit more patience and one final push and I’m finally at the exit. But I’ve got a red-light.
Wait for it…wait for it…green-light! All systems go! Because if you don’t go, you will be playing bumper cars with the cars behind you.
(Don’t ask me how I know that-I just know.)
Then zip around the corner and snag my vacuum cubby to finish the “inside” job.
As I remove the mats, vacuuming and spiffing up the interior, I notice this old jeep cleans up pretty well!
I’m fond of my jeep. Like an old friend. Puts up with me even when it’s grimy and neglected-and still performs the dailies with no complaint.
Me? Not so much.
Because sometimes my life can be like my old jeep. Everybody’s life, really. Messy. Layers of debris clutter up till we finally take notice that we need to deal with it. Then we have to ACT-staying in that same condition is simply not an option.
So then it’s cleanse mode. We need to infuse the good and happy, but first we have to chip away at those old layers of dirt. To start with, we have to align our course in the right direction. Then we have to be patient through all the steps. Scrubbing away at the old to reveal something better. To complicate matters, we can’t see ahead-so it’s one foot in front of the other until the light pokes through incrementally, and we can see that we are indeed on the right track. It seems tedious and takes way longer than it should. Then one day, we emerge into the sunlight. Restored and bright and shiny and renewed.
Ready to go wherever the road may take us.
Dirt’s gonna fly. It’s simply a fact of life. And sadly, some of that dirt’s gonna stick to us.
But when it does, we can know without a doubt that with time-a little patience (or lots)-and some mental elbow grease, it will all come out in the wash.